Jesse Gonzalez blooped a third-inning single into shallow left field off Zack Schlosser on Monday. It was the first and last time a South Forsyth batter came up with a hit against Lambert’s senior right-hander.
Schlosser struck out nine War Eagles in a complete game one-hitter, and the Longhorns avenged their region-opener loss to South with a 5-0 victory on the Lambert campus.
Lambert (13-5, 9-3 Region 7-AAAA) was equally efficient in the field, committing only one error and making a handful of plays to erase South baserunners.
“Zack got nine K’s, but he really relied on his defense tonight, especially when he got in a couple jams,” Lambert coach Jamie Corr said. “[We] had some great catches in the outfield, and of course Jake Lucas bouncing around behind the plate as always.”
Lucas and Schlosser closed the top of the first with a strike-‘em-out, throw-‘em-out double play. An inning later, the pitcher helped himself at the plate.
South senior left-hander Micah Dunn ran into control problems in the bottom of the second, issuing a walk to Danny Edgeworth and hitting Brian Watson (2-for-2, 2B, 2 RBI) with a pitch to put two on with nobody out. Eric Furphy bunted the runners over and, after Dunn hit Chase Alvord to load the bases, Schlosser put Lambert on top 1-0 with a single through the right side of the infield.
“I just think that at times he lost the ability to slow the game down and make adjustments with hitters,” South coach Russ Bayer said of Dunn.
“It’s a matter of adjustments. Certain innings he made them and he threw well, other innings he didn’t.”
South (11-7, 7-5) threatened to tie the score in the third, after C.J. Kream drew a one-out walk, stole second and advanced to third on Gonzalez’s single. But Lucas tagged Kream out at home on a squeeze bunt attempt by Andrew Cooley.
Lambert then padded its lead in the bottom of the frame with the help of some aggressive baserunning.
Lucas drew a leadoff walk, and pinch runner Chandler Register advanced to second on a wild pitch. Register moved to third when ball four to Brock Maxwell skipped to the backstop, and Maxwell rounded first and headed to second on the play, trying to bait South catcher Nate Smith into a throw.
Dunn almost worked out of the jam unscathed by getting Justin Reichling to ground out and striking out Danny Edgeworth, but Watson lined the first pitch he saw into the gap in left-center for a two-run double that increased the lead to 3-0. Watson was the only player with multiple hits in the game.
“I thought we did a good job all night of playing small ball, moving guys into scoring position,” Corr said, “and tonight was our night for a couple of guys to come through.”
Alvord tacked on insurance runs for the Longhorns in the fourth and sixth innings. He reached on an infield single in the fourth, before advancing to second on a sac bunt by Schlosser and scoring on an error.
Alvord struck out on a pitch in the dirt in the sixth but made it safely to second when Smith sailed a throw over Zack McCrum at first base.
A sac bunt by Schlosser moved Alvord to third, and he scored on a squeeze bunt by Tanner Scroggins.
“There was a big difference today between passive and aggressive baseball,” Bayer said. “They were aggressive and we were passive.”
Smith drew a leadoff walk for South in the top of the of the seventh and Sam Walker reached base when an infield pop up turned into an error, but Corr stuck with his starting pitcher.
Schlosser rewarded him with a fly out by Zach Baus and a strikeout of Kream, and Lucas gunned down Smith at third when he tried to advance on a pitch in the dirt.
“Zack had his good stuff tonight, obviously,” Corr said, “and really did a good job of getting ahead of hitters all night.”